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Upper Dolpo trek is one of the most unexplored and hidden treks of Nepal situated alongside Nepal-Tibet border. The region is famous for its ancient monasteries of Bon Po and Tibetan Buddhism, pristine lakes and high passes.
The major attractions of Upper Dolpo trek is exploration of 17th century Shey Gompa at 4100m and Phoksundo Lake at 3600m. The trekking is through wild and remote areas which are completely inaccessible, and were once used by salt traders coming from Tibet to Nepal. The upper route is through barren land that resembles Tibetan landscape. The region is rich in Bonpo and Tibetan Buddhism monasteries containing many ancient scriptures, chortens and rare mural paintings.
The entire trek falls within the boundary of Shey Phoksundo National park which is home to Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Griffon and many other rare wild species. On the Upper Dolpo trek you will cross three high Himalayan passes, namely Kang La pass (5151m), Saldang La (4785m), Jeng La (4369m). The passes affords spectacular views of Dolpo valley as well as Mt. Dhaulagiri, the sixth highest mountain in the world.
Dolpo region is still a restricted area, so trekkers need to obtain special permits to enter the area. The trekking area is graded moderate to strenuous. Since Dolpo lies in the trans Himalayan region, trekking is possible here even during summer (June-July-August) or monsoon season.
● Visit Dho Tarap valley
● Learn about Bonpa and Tibetan Buddhism
● Visit centuries old Shey Gompa, Yangze gompa and many other monasteries
● Hike up to the turquoise Phoksundo Lake, Nepal’s largest lake
● Cross Kang La pass (5151m), Saldang La (4785m), Jeng La (4369m),
● Trek through Shey Phoksundo National Park and appreciate its rich biodiversity Enjoy scenic mountain flights from Nepalgunj to Juphal
● All airport/hotel transfers by private vehicle.
● Two Night Accommodation in BB at a deluxe hotel in Kathmandu on twin/double sharing basis.
● one night Accommodation at a deluxe hotel in Nepalgunj on twin/double sharing basis.
● Kathmandu to Nepalgunj to Juphal to Nepalgunj to Kathmandu domestic flight tickets.
● All accommodations and three meals a day; breakfast, Lunch and Dinner during the trek.
● An experienced licensed English-Speaking guide and porters.
● All necessary permits (TIMS, Park fees, Restricted area permit, world heritage sites entry fee where applicable)
● Farewell dinner
● A comprehensive medical kit.
● All government and local taxes
● Nepal Visa Fee
● International airfare to and from Kathmandu
● Meals in Kathmandu
● Any kind of refreshment beverages and alcohol.
● Lunch and evening meals in Kathmandu in cases of early arrival, late departure, and early return from the mountains (due to any reason) than the scheduled itinerary.
● Travel and rescue insurance.
● Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, bar bills, battery recharge, extra porters, bottle or boiled water, shower, etc.)
● Any extra costs resulting from cancellation, landslide, weather, political unrest or illness
● Tips for guide, drivers and porters
● Duffel/Rucksack bag/Suitcase
● Day bag.( Small handbag)
● Trekking shoes
● Sports shoes or sandals.
● Sun Hat/cap
● Warm woolen cap
● Trekking jacket Gore tex/ fleece jacket
● Pullover or warm sweeter
● 4/5 pairs of good qualities shock
● Hand gloves
● 2/3 pairs of Trekking trousers
● 3/4 pairs of trekking shirts
● 3/4 pairs of Underwear
● Eye glass
● Water bottle
● 4 seasons Sleeping bag
● Flash or Torch light
● Camera and batteries.
For the classic Upper Dolpo Trek, there will be a license holder trekking guide and Porters for carrying luggage (2 trekkers = 1 porter). This arrangement ensures that if anyone in the group is sick the trip can still go on as planned. However, Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks can run this trek for groups of any size. Usually, we have found that the maximum number of trekkers in any group is 12 people.
All accommodations for the most unexplored and hidden Upper Dolpo trek on a twin-sharing basis. The lodges and tea houses have been selected by Asia Buddhist Tours & Treks after personal inspection. We look at the conditions of the inns, local hygiene, quality of food, type of service and more.
We offer two types of accommodations on this trek. In Kathmandu you will stay two nights at a Deluxe Hotel and one night in Nepalgunj. You will spend twenty one nights in standard tea houses during the trek. These places have pleasant, unheated rooms and wooden beds with foam mattresses.
All rooms are double occupancy, but you can request a single occupancy room for an additional fee, which will be available only during the trekking. However, sometimes single rooms are not available in some places, depending upon local conditions. We do work to provide the best possible options when trekking in the High Himalayas.
Food will vary between typical Nepali in the mountains. In Kathmandu and Nepalgunj, there are far more choices, which include Indian, Continental, Italian, Tibetan and more. The city areas offer everything from good steaks and burgers to apple pie and pizza.
Nepali food is nutritious, and ranges from our traditional Daal/Bhat and Momo to fantastic breads, fruits and more. The cooking is wholesome and the food is tasty during the trek trail too.
Our staff will receive you at Tribhuvan International Airport and take you to your pre-booked hotel. In the afternoon, you can visit our office and attend a trekking briefing program conducted by your trekking guide. Stay overnight in Kathmandu.
Following breakfast, drive to Kathmandu domestic airport to catch a morning flight to Nepalgunj in southwestern region. The flight takes approximately 1 hr. Stay overnight in a hotel.
Early morning, following breakfast, catch a flight from Nepalgunj to Juphal. This scenic flight with mountain views and over green hills lasts about 35-40 minutes. Once in Juphal, you will begin your trekking adventure towards Dunai. The trail follows the Bheri River and occasionally passing through rhododendron and pine forests. You will reach Dunai, the district headquarters of Dolpa district, in less than 3 hrs. Stay overnight in Dunai.
Have a warm breakfast and prepare for the day’s trek. The trail ahead follows the bank of Thulo Bheri River entering into the Shey Phoksundo National Park. You then pass through high pastureland of Kageni and then approach Ankhe Khola from where it is an hours uphill walk to Chepka. Stay overnight in Chepka.
The route from Chepka climbs a ridge and then travels through fir forest to be at Renje village. From here you will go uphill a ridge and drop down to Suli Gaad river. Further up is Sumduwa village and then on to Jharana
Hotel. Stay overnight in Jharana hotel.
Today you will be reaching Phoksundo Lake. Start early on a forested trail that climbs up a ridge and then past 200m-high waterfalls. There is a stretch of birch forest opening up to Ringmo village. Following the source of Phoksumdo Khola leads you up to Phoksundo Lake. Stay overnight in Phoksundo Lake.
Spend the full day exploring Phoksundo Lake. Phoksundo Lake is a pristine lake of turquoise color. On its west side is Shey Gompa and on the eastern flank is Thasung Gompa.
Leaving the lake behind, climb steeply towards a cliff followed by a gradual descent to Serkam. Encounter another steep ridge before getting to the campsite beside Phoksumdo Khola. Stay overnight in Phoksumdo Khola.
The trail is quite challenging to navigate. Follow your trek guide as you walk past glacial moraines and rocks. Crisscrossing a few streams you will walk past highland pastures to make it to the base of a spur. Stay overnight in Phoksundo Bhanjyang.
Prepare yourself for some adventure as you head towards Shey gompa. Follow a steep trail that is a mix of slates and rocks. It will take 2 hrs to reach the top of Kang La pass. Enjoy scenic views of the geography around and then make a descend crossing a river on a wooden bridge towards Shey Gompa. Stay overnight in Shey gompa.
Today we spend on full exploration of Shey Gompa. This 14th century gompa has a statue of Padmasambhava, Milarepa and Sakya Buddha. The gompa is located on the base of Mt. Crystal.
You will follow a forested path initially passing through high meadows and pasturelands. You will reach Saldang La pass to enjoy scenic views of the valley. The trek is further pleasant and at the end of it you will be rewarded with beautiful terraced fields and a monastery. Stay overnight Namjung village.
The trail further up from Namjung village takes you into the deeper region of Dolpa. You will have to walk through almost barren landscape, except for some sheer cliffs. This landscape reminds you of Tibet and so does the culture and lifestyle of locals who are of Tibetan ancestry. Stay overnight in Saldang.
You will continue to navigate the barren landscape ahead of Saldang except for some occasional rivers like Nang Chu and Panzang. The route is almost leveled. Yangze is a village that hosts Yangze Gompa which is ancient Bon pa gompa. Stay overnight in Yangze Gompa.
The trek to Sibu takes about 5 hrs. Follow the Panzang river, crisscrossing farms and mani walls along the way. You can take some rest at Namdo village en route before continuing a horizontal path to Sibu. Stay overnight in Sibu.
The walk from Sibu to Jeng-la Phedi is quite straightforward with not much activity in between. You will be closer to Tibetan border on this section of the trek. Stay overnight in Jeng-la Phedi.
Making past the Jeng la pass will be very challenging and rewarding. Jeng La pass affords a spectacular view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, the sixth highest mountain in the world. You will leave early on a steep trail all the way up to the pass. After spending some time atop the pass, you will descend straight to Tokhyu Gaon where you will spot greenery all around. Stay overnight in Tokyu village.
This is the easiest section of the trek. After visiting Tokyu Monastery in the morning, we follow the trail southward towards Dho Tarap which is a small vibrant village. Stay overnight in Dho Tarap.
Spend full day today in Dho Tarap both exploring and acclimatizing. You can learn about the local farming techniques and food. Or visit nearby gompas such as Ribo Bhumpa, Shipchok which are stronghold of Nyingmpa sect, which is the one of the oldest Buddhist sect and is rarely found anywhere else in Nepal.
You are now already on your return journey. The trail from Dho Tarap descends gradually passing through forests which are full of wild animals. An hour later you will arrive at a confluence that ultimately leads you to the bank of Tarap Khola. Stay overnight in Tarap Khola.
The walk is enjoyable today as you are well in the tree line zone. Enjoy beautiful green lush forests and colorful villages. You will crisscross a few streams enroute and then arrive at Khanigaon. Stay overnight in Khanigaon.
After having morning breakfast, follow your trek guide. The trail will descend down to the bank of Thulo Bheri River, crisscrossing it back and forth. Enjoy a walk among pine forests before coming to Tarakot village. The ancient Malla kingdom had its fort here in this village. Stay overnight in Tarakot.
Follow the bank of Bheri river to arrive at Juphal. En route you pass through Dunai, which is the district headquarters of Dolpa district. Stay overnight in Juphal.
After early morning breakfast, fly from Juhpal to Nepalgunj and from there a connecting flight to Kathmandu. Once in Kathmandu, you will be transported back to your hotel where you can relax and rest. In the evening take a stroll across Thamel street.
Our staff will drive you to Tribhuvan International airport to catch your international flight back home. We hope to see you again in Nepal.